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Krumm quashes latest Safina return

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Originally published on: 27/07/10 11:36

Former world No.1 Dinara Safina stuttered on her latest attempt to return from injury, losing in three sets to 39-year-old Kimiko Date Krumm in Stanford.

The 24-year-old Russian has not won a match since her April victory over Agnes Szavay in Stuttgart – her first tournament since the Australian Open.

But a run of five consecutive losses have followed, including a first round French Open defeat to Krum, who inflicted Safina’s sixth successive defeat at the Bank of the West Classic yesterday.

After becoming the oldest player to defeat a top 10 player at Roland Garros in May, Krum looked unlikely to repeat her feat against the now world No.35 after dropping five games in a row to fall behind 6-4 2-0.

But the Japanese veteran – who surprised the tennis world when she announced her comeback to the game in 2008 after a 12 year-absence – hit back, winning the second set tiebreak to love, before easing through the decider in 35 minutes.

“I played against Safina at Roland Garros but that was a different situation,” said Krumm, who turns 40 in two months. “I tried to forget about that and stay focused.”

Safina, after losing her focus, admitted she had missed an opportunity for a morale-boosting victory in just her eighth tournament of the year. 

“I had so many chances but I didn’t use them, and in the important moments she played well,” said the Russian, whose lengthy spell on the sidelines has disrupted her ability to compete at her desired level in 2010.

“It was my first match back from injury, so I’m pretty positive and will keep working hard to improve day by day.

“My back feels fine, and that is the most important thing.“

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